Hey Friends, I hope everyone is doing well and is safe and staying healthy. I wanted to reach out regarding some of the struggles I have seen during the “Stay at Home” Order on social media. So let’s talk about it…
Lack of Motivation –
Well what is motivation? Motivation is defined as “The general desire or willingness of someone to do something”.
Where does it come from? Well the simple answer is, your brain. The complex answer is our emotional response to the information our brain is processing/telling us. Studies show that if there is a reward attached to the information, this makes it more desirable and our response is to work harder to complete whatever tasks are necessary to achieve the goal or reward. Different things motivate us based on what our different desires are. Whether you realize it or not though, this science is applicable for big things like personal growth, or setting personal goals and for simpler tasks such as completing household chores or getting dressed in the morning.
Let me give you an example. Let’s say you hate doing the dishes. Can’t stand it. It drives you nuts. You have a tendency to let the dishes pile up in the sink because your emotional response to the dishes is negative. Doing dishes does not motivate you. And then it gets worse, because you let them pile up for days until you have no choice but to do them because you can’t even get to the faucet anymore. So finally you have to do the dishes and every second of it feels miserable because you are focused on all the negative things that come with the task at this point; Things like the fact you have to scrub the old crusty food off the dishes because they sat there for so long. Some of them might be smelly. Your hands might get dry or rough because it took so long to complete the mountain of dish cleaning.
So now let’s look at it from a different perspective. What could motivate you to do the dishes? Well honestly it could be he very same things that make you hate completing the task. Think about it…If you wash them as you go, it doesn’t take nearly as long. The sink is always empty and clean, your hands won’t get as dried out, because they won’t be sitting in the soapy water as long, the food won’t be all crusted on the plates from days of sitting there, there won’t be a funky odor coming off them. So by focusing on the things you will be avoiding by doing them timely, completing the task might become more desirable and make you more motivated to just do the damn dishes.
So now that we have covered an example, let’s look at how Lack of Motivation is effecting people during the “Stay at Home” Order.
So during the “Stay at Home” Order there are a few consistencies that are really causing a lack of motivation across the board… 1) We can’t go anywhere really. The freedom we had to explore, shop, go out to eat, enjoy things like movies and concerts and the beach are just non-existent. 2) We have to practice Social Distancing. We can’t enjoy the company of family and friends, which is especially hard during major holidays like Easter, or for those celebrating birthdays.
Let’s look at it from the negative first just as we did the dish example. If you can’t go anywhere what’s the point in getting up let alone taking a shower and getting dressed? If you can’t see your family or friends what’s the point of taking care of yourself? No one will notice if you’ve been sitting around in your pajamas for four days watching Netflix and eating frozen pizza and ice cream out of the carton, right?
Now ask yourself… “What in the actual heck am I doing to myself!?”
Now is one of the most important times to stay motivated for yourself! So take a deep breath and let’s talk about how you’re going to do this…
Step One: When you wake up in the morning, take a god damn shower and get dressed as if you are going somewhere. Whether its casual clothes, or gym clothes, or work clothes, get your butt up, get showered and get dressed.
Step Two: Make a schedule for yourself. BE ACCOUNTABLE. Make a list of daily tasks that you are going to complete each day. (This can include anything from work (as many are working from home), house projects, cleaning, reading a book, personal growth and development, home workouts, taking a walk, hitting a certain number of steps, etc.) Write out the list, and cross off the tasks as you complete them. This has been shown to boost motivation and productivity.
Step Three: Plan out your meals and snacks!!! Stop hanging out in the kitchen all day, and plan out what your meals and snacks are as you would on a normal day. Another helpful tip here – don’t buy a whole bunch of junk food. Have healthy snacks available. (Side note: If you have a sweet tooth, check out my recipes tab for some healthier baked options that will satisfy your sweet tooth but still be on the healthier side.)
Step Four: Make sure you are drinking enough water! Even mild dehydration can make us tired or think we are hungry when we really are not. Keep track of how much water you’re consuming each day. (Side note: I start my day every morning with at least 8 ounces of water before I have anything else, including my coffee)
Step Five: Make sure you’re getting some exercise. Whether it is home workouts, or walking around the block, you should be doing something to stay active.
Step Six: Be Productive! Fill your time with tasks that you can feel good about. Whether it’s cleaning out your old closet space of clutter, or learning a new skill, or completing a house project, whatever it is be productive with your time! Make sure to have tasks on your schedule that are realistic and achievable.
Side note: If you choose tasks for your daily checklist that take longer than one day, then break it up into smaller pieces for several days. So for example if it’s taking an online class or reading a book, maybe have on your check list 30 min of reading each day. Or if it was cleaning out the basement, maybe break that up into 4 or 6 parts and say like day one complete far right corner, day two complete the far left corner, and so on and so fourth. That way each day you are checking off the completion of whatever portion of the goals you are working towards.
I hope you guys have found this helpful. Stay tuned for my next few posts which will cover topics such as:
- how to have a work/life balance when you work from home
- working out from home
- how to set goals